August 1, 2006

First Lines

I got this idea from a fellow book-lover, who also had a healthy appreciation for first lines. I started to pay attention to first lines a little more after that, and my love of a good one grew. Here I pay homage to them; I hope one or two will inspire you to read the work in entirety. Enjoy!

On the pleasant shore of the French Riviera, about half way between Marseilles and the Italian border, stands a large, proud, rose-colored hotel.
~ F. Scott Fitzgerald in Tender is the Night

The road that led to Treegap had been trod out long before by a herd of cows who were, to say the least, relaxed.
~ Natalie Babbit in Tuck Everlasting

In these dungeons the darkness was complete, but Katsa had a map in her mind.
~ Kristin Cashore in Graceling

He lay flat on the brown, pine-needled floor of the forest, his chin on his folded arms, and high overhead the wind blew in the tops of the pine trees.
~ Ernest Hemingway in For Whom the Bell Tolls

She was born Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, and she did not open her eyes for three days.
~ Shannon Hale in The Goose Girl

In the town there were two mutes, and they were always together.
~ Carson McCullers in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

The whole affair began so very quietly.
~ Mary Stewart in Madam, Will You Talk?

First the colors. Then the humans. That's usually how I see things.
Or at least, how I try.
~ Markus Zusak in The Book Theif

Serene was a word you could put to Brooklyn, New York.
~ Betty Smith in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
~ Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice

The old woman remembered a swan she had bought many years ago in Shanghai for a foolish sum.
~ Amy Tan in The Joy Luck Club

My mother did not tell me they were coming.
~ Tracy Chevalier in Girl with a Pearl Earring

I used to think if you fell from grace it was more likely than not the result of one stupendous error, or else an unfortunate accident.
~ Jane Hamilton in A Map of the World

One may as well begin with Helen's letters to her sister.
~ E.M. Forster in Howard's End

I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975.
~ Khaled Hosseini in The Kite Runner

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.
~ Daphne du Maurier in Rebecca

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since.
~ F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby

It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York.
~ Sylvia Plath in The Bell Jar

Read more first lines here.